Scholars with a heart – that is SNCF’s Co-op Scholarship’s slogan, and it perfectly represents what the organisation is about. Beyond outstanding academic results or exceptional co-curricular activities records, SNCF requires their scholars to demonstrate a passion for helping others.
SNCF has been supporting co-operatives in Singapore to become successful and sustainable enterprises that address social and economic needs of our country. Representing over 60 co-operatives today, SNCF offers an unparalleled platform where scholars are spoiled for choice when it comes to being a part of the co-operative movement. The possibilities are endless at SNCF. Two scholars Goh Yuxuan and Janice Chai discuss their reasons for joining SNCF and how they aim to contribute to the organisation’s mission.
Why were you inspired to be part of the co-operative movement?
Yuxuan: Having been involved in community service through Leo Club since Secondary 2, and having been enrolled into an International Business course during polytechnic, I have always wondered how I can run a sustainable business while giving back to society. It was during a search on Google that I discovered the co-operative movement. With a strong desire to give back to the community, I saw that the co-operative movement will be an avenue to achieve this, while putting my business knowledge to good use.
Janice: I have been interested in co-operatives because of their ability to do good for the community. Also as an aspiring entrepreneur, a business model where I can earn profits and develop the social sector for society is something that I aspire towards. My vision for my business is to promote inclusivity, and to help create and build a more encompassing environment for children, with or without special needs. With this, I hope to create a culture where people with special needs will no longer have to face discrimination, creating a society where everyone is allowed to be unique in their own ways!
SNCF Co-operative Scholar
Student, Bachelor of Business, Nanyang Technological University
What makes co-operatives even more pertinent and valuable in today’s corporate climate?
Yuxuan: There is a heightened awareness among consumers where people look for means to give back to the community and support causes such as environmentalism. Businesses need to transcend from profit-maximisation and move towards investing in society. Co-operatives are business models that are fundamentally about “doing well and doing good”, aiming to resolve social problems and empower society, which is what consumers are seeking today.
Janice: Businesses are seen to be shifting towards investing more in society, environment, or any other areas to contribute back to society. With co-operatives setting the ground as businesses that give back, I think that this is a significant factor in differentiating a co-operative from an organisation.
SNCF Co-operative Scholar
Student, Bachelor of Business, National University of Singapore
SNCF represents over 60 co-operatives. How can scholars benefit from this network?
Yuxuan: The numerous co-operatives represented by SNCF provide a great platform for scholars to develop themselves! Through the network, scholars will meet mentors and people with vast experience from the co-operative background, whom they can interact with and gain valuable learning points from.
Scholars may even be given the opportunity to intern with co-operatives to immerse themselves in the co-operative environment. With the various types of co-operatives represented, scholars can also learn about the different ways in which they can create a social impact and give back to the community.
Janice: Scholars can benefit tremendously through this network! From learning how these different co-operatives work in the various industries to building touchstones between the co-operatives and the community, scholars are bound to be in for an exciting journey. This network is wide and consists of a vast array of co-operatives with years of experience. It is definitely a good stepping stone for individuals to find out more about the social impact that each co-operative makes on the community.
How do you plan to contribute back to society with SNCF upon graduation?
Yuxuan: I strongly believe in the potential of youths. I would love to help them realise their potential and develop them into the future driving force of Singapore. Specifically, I hope to be involved with youths from troubled backgrounds or low-income families. These are individuals who are talented but lacking the resources needed to progress. I plan to use my business knowledge and skills to create a positive impact by bringing the co-operative I am involved in closer to the community, and to benefit as many youths as possible.
Janice: I hope to work in a co-operative which will provide me with opportunities to work with children. My aspiration is to nurture the young and add meaning in their lives. I plan to use my business skills that I have learnt from university to impact and drive our affiliates even further than what have already been achieved as well. I hope to further connect the co-operatives with the community through marketing initiatives – which I intend to specialise in university – to inform more people about the co-operative movement and encourage them to come on board.